Calceolaria uniflora Lam.
Darwin's Slipper, Darwin's Slipper Flower
Calceolaria darwinii, Calceolaria minima, Calceolaria monanthos, Calceolaria nana, Calceolaria uniflora var. uniflora, Fagelia darwinii, Fagelia nana, Fagelia uniflora
Bloom Time: Summer
Calceolaria uniflora is an evergreen perennial with darkish-green leaves and erect to ascending stems. It has a shallow root system and grows tight to the ground. The unique flowers almost look like little penguins marching over the rocks. They are orange-yellow with varying amounts of deep garnet-red to bright chestnut freckling or shading in the throat and outside the vertical lower lip. Each bloom has a white band across an open "mouth," with burgundy markings above and below.
How to Grow and Care
While this annual can be grown both indoors and out, the most popular use may be as a potted houseplant. Once you look into the native environment for this bright flower, you'll know how to grow Pocketbook Plant. It comes from Central and South America in the cooler plains where water and bright sunlight aren't so abundant. Calceolaria care works best when you try to imitate its native home.
Keep the plant near a bright window but out of direct sunlight. If your only window is bright southern exposure, hang a sheer curtain between the plant and outdoors to filter the brightest rays. Northern windows and tables away from the light source are more hospitable for these plants.
Pocketbook Plant care includes carefully monitoring the water supply. These plants don't do well with too much moisture on their roots. Give the plants a thorough watering, then let the pots drain in the sink for about 10 minutes. Allow the soil to dry out until the surface is dry before watering again.
This species is native to South America.
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